Chrysler Earns $441 Million
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) _ Chrysler Corp. today said it earned $441 million in the third quarter, down 35 percent from a year ago.
The company said the earnings suffered in comparison to the third quarter last year, its best third quarter ever. However, the results were above analysts’ expectations.
Chrysler Chairman Robert J. Eaton said the third quarter results were the third best in company history.
``The results were achieved in an increasingly competitive market, and during the most ambitious multi-vehicle launch in our history.″
Chrysler earned 65 cents per share, down from 93 cents a year earlier. Chrysler’s profit in the third quarter of 1996 totaled $680 million.
For the first nine months of this year, Chrysler earned $1.95 billion, or $2.83 a share, compared with $2.7 billion, or $3.65 a share, in 1996.
Third quarter earnings were higher than Wall Street’s expectations, with the average estimate of 19 analysts surveyed last week by First Call Corp. coming in at 58 cents a share.
Chrysler’s revenues reached $13.2 billion in the quarter, down from $14.4 billion during the same period of 1996. For the first nine months, revenues were $43.7 billion, down from $45.2 billion in 1996.
The third-quarter earnings include a $25 million after-tax cost as a result of discontinuing Chrysler’s Eagle brand at the end of the 1998 model year.
Third-quarter 1996 earnings were affected by a $55 million after-tax charge for an early retirement program used by 576 salaried employees.
Chrysler also announced that its board approved a $2 billion increase to its share-buyback program. The buyback is expected to be completed by the end of 1998, Chrysler said.
Chrysler Financial Corp. reported net earnings of $111 million, its highest quarter ever. Third quarter 1996 earnings were $94 million for Chrysler Financial.
Chrysler was the first of the Big Three automakers to report third quarter earnings. General Motors Corp. is to report Tuesday and Ford Motor Co. is to report Wednesday.